Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In opposition to hypocrites

Antidisestablishmentarianism.

It's a long word. One of the longest in the English language. Growing up it was one of my mother's favorites, although I have no idea why.

It comes up at random in conversation because it's fun to say … and it's a real word, unlike Supercalifragilisticexpialodocious. That said, Antidisestablishmentarianism has really outlived it's purpose, aside from being fun to say at parties.

It refers to opposing the removal of there being a state sanctioned church. What with the separation of church and state here in the United States, it really never meant anything here. It was an England thing back in the 19th century.

However, if you break it down, it can still hold meaning here and now. It could refer to those who are opposed to those who are opposed to the establishment. Anti-protesters, more or less.

And oddly enough, as much as I'm opposed to the establishment, I'm also an antidisestablishmentarianist, at least locally.

I have many friends in many political circles in and around Buffalo and Western New York. Democrats. Republicans. Liberals. Conservatives. Elected officials. Rabble-rousers and gadflies. They all think they're doing the right thing. And I respect them all on principle, even if I disagree with their intended goals.

There's one group I have the hardest time respecting, though. And that's those who comprise those political circles, but pretend not to. I don't like the players who tell you to hate the game, even though they're the ones making the rules for the game. They're simultaneously the establishment … and the disestablishment, profiting from the system while complaining about it. I won't specifically name any individuals or groups, but if you pay attention, you can likely come up with your own.

These people wear one hat on Monday, reaping the rewards of a political system that pays to be friends and family with the chosen few. And on Tuesday they go to luncheons, coffee clutches and town hall meetings deriding the system they themselves benefited from just a day before.

On Wednesday, they bemoan political strip-mining. And on Thursday plunder from the system, doing the very things they were complaining about one day earlier.

They write the laws then complain about them and tell you that there's nothing they can do.

They're not based in principle at all. They simply know how to work the system.

There are some people who complain because it's their only weapon. They go to town board meetings and speak their peace. They take their three allotted minutes and attempt to get their point across. To them, I say, kudos.

Others might disagree with that, saying that the complainers should be ignored unless they're willing to run for office and buck the system from within. Of course, those are usually the ones who are within the system, who have no desire to have the system bucked.

Be careful who you lend support to. Make sure they're doing what they say they're doing, and not simply talking out both sides of their mouths, like so many of the disestablishmentarianists.

This goes double for any elected official who complains about the system … or tells you they only have one vote and there's nothing they can do to help matters. Anyone within the system who tells you they're powerless ought to be stripped of the position.